ST. CLOUD -- A Sartell man has pleaded guilty to amended charges where he is accused of beating his stepchildren with belts, electrical cords, and a board. Fifty-three-year-old Louis Hill has pleaded guilty to two counts of malicious punishment of a child - less than substantial bodily harm. The plea agreement amends the charges from felonies to gross misdemeanors.

Hill and 29-year-old Stephanie Woods Hill are each charged in the case.

According to the complaint, the Sartell couple would punish the children ages 13, 9 and 4 for things like missing school assignments and not understanding their homework.

One of the children said his mother and stepfather would "whoop" he and his brothers daily with belts, extension cords, and a board.

Stearns County Jail booking photo
Stearns County Jail booking photo

The abuse allegations came to light in September when Sartell police were called to an elementary school to investigate. The 9-year-old told the officer he and his older brother had been struck everywhere on their body including their head, back, and hands. He said the 4-year-old would get "pops" which meant being struck by an open hand.

Woods Hill allegedly told investigators she used a belt and a board on the older boys buttocks and slapping the youngest boy, but denied any of the marks on their backs and arms.

Records show Louis Hill admitted to using a belt to spank the two older boys and used a board to strike the 13-year-old six times for six missing assignments.

Woods Hill has a court hearing set for March 4th.  Louis Hill will be sentenced in April.